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January 2013

Accomplishing your New Year's resolutions the UNCG way

Just a few weeks ago, as 2012 departed and 2013 emerged, people all over the world vowed to end an old negative habit or begin a new positive one. It's a time of great optimism, and any personal renaissance seems possible in those first few days of a new year.

A better new year can be about small changes that lead to a happier, healthier life. (Man and child riding bicyles)

A better new year can be about small changes that lead to a happier, healthier life.

Now that a bit of the shine is off of 2013, human nature is beginning to weigh in as so many cast aside their resolutions and cancel out the good intentions of just a few short days ago.

However, there are programs right here at UNCG that can help you stay on the resolution wagon, helping to guarantee that 2013 will be better than 2012. With that in mind, here are a few popular New Year's resolutions, and ways that UNCG can help you keep them.

Get in shape

The pledge to improve one's health is among the most popular resolutions, and one of the easiest to break. Poor health habits are difficult to overcome, but researchers all across UNCG are working on research that highlights the importance of fitness and creating technologies that make fitness goals attainable even for those who have suffered from serious injury.

Also, for those alumni still living in the area, did you know that the Student Recreation Center offers alumni membership plans? When paid yearly, the membership dues are considerably less than most private gyms, and the wide range of activities, from classes to personal training, might be just the thing to help you meet your fitness goals.

Pick up a book

We all lead busy lives, and while it's easy to come home after a long day at work, sit on the couch, turn on the television and turn off our brains, one common resolution is to trade in the remote control for a paperback.

However, even with the growing ubiquity of e-books, many people aren't reading as much as they'd like. It was so much easier during college, with the University Libraries easily accessible, wasn't it?

Fortunately, those books, journals, databases and other resources could still be at your fingertips. The libraries offer numerous services for all alumni, including full borrowing privileges for Friends of the Library and special events, like an upcoming talk by Wiley Cash '01, author of acclaimed novel “A Land More Kind Than Home.”

Travel more

It's a great big world we're living in, and most of us have only seen a tiny part of it. It's easy to decide to travel more, but the logistics of doing so are difficult to overcome. Even if vacation time is available, the lack of travel companions and the time involved in fully researching a destination can be difficult hurdles to overcome.

With this in mind, the Alumni Association offers an Alumni Travel Program, with destinations around the world offered at discounted rates.

However, travel doesn't always have to mean long journeys to exotic destinations. North Carolina is a magnet for tourists from around the world, and UNCG is endeavoring to make those local destinations even more attractive for travelers from near and far. Recent research from the Bryan School's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program is helping local wineries understand how they can continue to grow their businesses by highlighting not only their fine products, but also their unique brand of southern hospitality.

Find more purpose in your life and work

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs the world has ever seen, from Steve Jobs to Larry Ellison to Vinod Khosla, have one thing in common: a balance of innovation, business sense and spirituality that help them understand not only the questions of what they want to accomplish and how they want to accomplish it, but also why they are choosing to dedicate their lives to their chosen professions.

A new year is a great opportunity for many to step back and consider how they can find more purpose in their work through personal reflection. This journey is the topic of an upcoming event, sponsored by the Bryan School and the UNCG Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program. The event, taking place Feb. 25 in the School of Education Building, will feature Steve Goveia, founder of 5 companies and VP of Tectura, an IT firm. The event is free with the donation of a canned food item, and registration information can be found on the Cross-Disciplinary Program's web site.

Complete your education

Only about 40 percent of the working-age population in Guilford County holds an associate's degree or higher. Yet estimates from the Lumina Foundation, which focuses exclusively on increasing students' access to post-secondary education, indicate that by 2018 about 60 percent of all jobs will require some form of post-secondary education.

While most of those reading this are UNCG graduates, there may be those who have yet to complete their degrees, or who are looking to develop new skills in response to the challenges of a changing economy. One useful resource UNCG offers is the Transfer & Adult Student Academic Success office, which offers academic coaching and advocacy, as well as programs for accelerated degree completion for motivated students with clearly defined career goals.

Meet more people

People lead busy lives, and between the demands of work and family, it can be difficult to step out and meet new people, especially those with whom you share common interests and experiences.

Local UNCG Alumni Clubs endeavor to make that process easier, and club events are popping up all over the country. In the next month alone, club chapters in Charlotte (Jan. 17), Atlanta (Jan. 23) and New York City (Jan. 24) will be holding happy hours designed to be low-pressure opportunities for alumni in the area to connect or reconnect. In addition, the Washington, D.C. Alumni Club is hosting an event on Jan. 20, perfect for UNCG alumni in town for the inauguration looking to meet up with those local to the area. You can learn more about all of these events on the Alumni Association calendar.

Change is difficult, and having trusted partners and a supportive environment are essential to self-improvement. UNCG is working to be just such a place, even after graduation.





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